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It was the boundary between March 1 and 2 in the year 2010. Only a day was left until the entrance ceremony. Two days had passed, but I still did not share any text messages with Yoo Chun Young. Not even a phone call. March 2. It was the day when the world changed entirely except for me.
The rain pouring in the morning did not stop in the evening and went on all night. I listened to the sounds of the torrential rain with a pillow in my arms and stared at the dark ceiling. The antique clock on the wall was ticking its second hand.
It was already close to midnight, but I could not sleep although I went to bed two hours ago. I could barely fall asleep. When it got closer to March 2, I often suffered from insomnia. It was because of the thought that the world could change all of a sudden once again. I tossed and turned to change into different positions; at last, I fell into a light sleep. The sounds of rain outside the window seemed to fade out.
It was after only a few minutes when I had finally woken up. There was a sound from the living room, so I dimly opened my eyes and looked outside of my room. There I saw the light coming out from the fridge. Maybe it was my dad looking for water half asleep. As my eyes were on him, I was suddenly left in a huge shock.
I got out of the bed and dashed to the window. I was in such in a hurry that I almost tripped on the floor before coming out of bed. Fortunately, I held the window frame to balance myself, saving me from smashing on the floor headfirst.
I opened the window wide. The sky above me was ridiculously clear and dark. There weren’t any clouds. It seemed like the sky was mocking me with its bright darkness, pretending like it never rained before.
I stared blankly at the moon and stretched my hands outside the window. What touched my hand was the texture of the dry concrete walls and the speck of white dust on top. They were not wet at all.
My eyes were on my hands in silence and then on the wall clock above my bed as I turned my head. The clock had a completely round and normal pink frame. It was not the weird wall clock I got as a present from Woo Jooin.
As I gazed at it, I gave a hollow smile eventually. It made no sense. How… how could this happen?
I closed the window and tottered back to my bed. I meant, in fact, I was not even sure how I went back to my bed. My eyes were fixed on the ceiling for a while before I closed my eyes tightly. Still, I did not hear the sound of the rain… I should go back to sleep, I murmured. I should think through this once I had woken up.
Inside the closet, there hung a school uniform as if it was like 3 years ago. It was the uniform of the high school I would be entering. Instead of the dazzling white jacket and skirt, it changed back to the normal navy blue color. The middle school uniform I wore for the last 3 years overlapped them.
Jesus, I found myself with a mystic grin out of all the nonsense that’s happening. Then I fell back to dreamland.
It was a few minutes over 7 in the morning when I opened my eyes. I looked at the wall as soon I awakened and held up my hands with a sigh as the wall clock featured an insanely complicated and sophisticated look.
I sat down for a while with my face buried in my hands. Then I turned my head and discovered a drench of rain dripping on my window pane.
The school uniform hanging on the closet looked still flaring; I would not even wear it even if I someone paid me to do so. After I took a careful glance at everything, I heaved a long sigh this time. Then I twisted and lifted the corners of my lips.
Was everything I saw before a dream? All the things I had in my eyes and everything I had gone through? I dropped my gaze at my hand to check if there were any residues of the concrete wall left but nothing. Although some residues might have left, they would be too faint enough for me to see.
I sat down on my bed for a while and groped the wall to turn on the switch. Then, I grabbed the phone that I put at my bedside.
As I was coming back to my bed with my phone in hand, I mistakenly dropped it. Then, I realized my hands were shaking when I tried to hold it back with a frown on my face. Oh my god, I used my other hand to grab my wrist. It, however, did not help to remedy the shiver.
The sound of raindrops was still ringing in my ears. That soothed me a little. I slowly took a deep breath, picked up the phone, and came back to my bed.
While perching on my bed, I thoroughly scanned the call list as well as the message inbox. Eun Jiho, Ban Yeo Ryung, Woo Jooin… I scrolled down the screen with my thumb. Then, I muttered between my teeth, it’s all there. Still, I could not ease my mind.
I moved to my contacts, trembling my lashes. From there, I could find someone to ascertain myself that I was still existing in this world. It was in my will to actually see someone and listen to one’s voice, which seemed to be the only way to lull me right now.
My eyes were running through the screen. Yoo Chun Young? No, not yet. Eun Jiho? He would be enjoying a decent breakfast with his family. Ban Yeo Ryung and Woo Jooin would obviously still be in the land of dreams. My eyes then stopped at the name, Kwon Eun Hyung.
He might be taking a break after serving breakfast to his father. I pressed the call button with all my might.
The ring tone sounded longer than usual. Then I heard a voice.
It was a warm, smooth, and faithful voice that would make anyone listening rely on him. The voice brought a sense of relief as I heard it through the phone.
Eun Hyung asked, “What’s up?”
He seemed to wonder why I called him early in the morning. Also because he was aware that I was particularly lazy during the vacation.
His voice was about to take my breath away. As I remained silent for a while, Kwon Eun Hyung asked in confusion.
“Donnie, is everything okay? What’s up?”
I bit my lips hard instead of continuing my words. It seemed to get quiet in the background, and soon, I heard him carefully asking, “Are you crying?”
Then I cleared my throat for a second. I was about to shed tears. Not that I was sad. I was because I could not contain the sense of relief rising in me.
My shoulder flinched with great intensity as I tried to catch my breath. As soon as I cooled down, I carefully tried to remember what I wanted to say. Even then, Eun Hyung was sitting back and listening to me quietly.
I said, “Eun Hyung.”
“Are you busy right now?”
His flat response made me feel even more relieved. I took a deep breath and continued, “If you’re not busy, would you… say anything?”
“Whatever you want, for real.”
A phone call from seven in the morning and the request I made might sound absurd, but Kwon Eun Hyung held his peace.
He kept his pace for a while as I heard a rattling noise as if he was doing the dishes. Combined with that sound, I could hear his serene voice through the phone.
“It was a day that poured this much. I was five, and I remember my dad holding me to show what’s over the window. There were full of gray fogs outside, and a car was standing through them. I didn’t know what it was at that time, but when I have come to think about it, it seemed like a red Porsche. It was a sleek and chic car. The person who sat on the driver’s seat was an elegant woman who radiated the same luxurious vibe as the car. It all suited her well along with her blue-black hair and her beautiful blue eyes.]
He then paused. When his calm voice disappeared, only the rattling noise came remained in the phone call. I sat and leaned back on the wall languidly listening to his story. Soon, I opened my eyes wide when he illustrated the woman sitting on the driver’s seat. The blue-black hair and blue eyes were, needless to say, indicating someone familiar to me.